GLSEN will hold its Respect Awards ceremony on May 15 in New York, N.Y. Honorees include Ryan Pedlow, founder of Two Creeks Capital (Visionary Award), Ann Clark, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Educator of the Year) and First Data (Corporate Ally Award). These awardees champion LGBTQ youth in K-12 schools. Special guest will be Dr. Jill Biden.
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and the National Parks Conservation Association spoke out against President Donald Trump’s latest Presidential Executive Order on the Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act, which could include a review of the Stonewall National Monument located in New York City’s West Village — the first ever national monument recognizing the historic struggle for LGBTQ equality and civil rights.
The EqualityPAC is asking for people to sign its online petition to encourage Congress to bring up the Equality Act for a vote. (At press time, the act was still being considered. On May 2, the legislation was introduced in Congress by lead sponsors Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). The act has received the support of 241 members of Congress for the measure.)
U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Patty Murray (D-WA), along with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), reintroduced legislation aimed at reducing bullying and harassment that affects one in five students at colleges and universities across the country. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2017 would require institutions of higher education to establish policies to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.
SAGE has launched a 30-day campaign, #WeRefuseToBeInvisible, to tell the Trump administration that LGBTQ elders must not be erased from the National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants survey on aging.
OutServe-SLDN announced the hiring of Felipe Rendon as a legal and policy associate for the legal services department. It has also created a new staff attorney position that will vastly expand the ability and scope of work that OutServe-SLDN can accomplish. The organization has targeted hiring for this position by the end of 2017. The job posting will be online shortly and resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.
The challenges, struggles and triumphs of older LGBTQ adults will be commemorated on May 16 during National Honor Our LGBT Elders Day. The observance was inaugurated by The LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton Health Care in Baltimore, Md. in 2016 and pays tribute to the sacrifices and successes of LGBTQ older adults and thanks them for leading the fight to expand LGBTQ rights.
Filmmaker Deborah S. Esquenazi’s documentary film, “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four,” has been named one of 12 winners in the Peabody Awards’ Documentary category for programs released in 2016, earning the first Peabody Award win for America’s leading true crime network, Investigation Discovery (ID). “Southwest of Salem” chronicles the persecution of the San Antonio Four who were targeted as Latino lesbians in their conservative San Antonio, Texas community when they were wrongfully convicted of aggravated sexual assault and indecency against two young girls in 1994. In 2012 and 2013, after one of the accusers recanted and the forensic evidence used in the trial was debunked, Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Kristie Mayhugh and Cassandra Rivera were released from prison — but were still left to battle for their full exoneration. The film will air an encore presentation on May 13 from 10 a.m.-12p.m. The documentary is also currently available on Investigation Discovery’s TV Everywhere platform, IDGO.com, the network’s live and on demand streaming service.
info: investigationdiscovery.com. discovery.com. idgo.com.
In collaboration with The Central Florida Foundation and The Contigo Fund, Funders for LGBTQ Issues will hold the Orlando Strong: One Year Later Funders Symposium from June 14-15 in Orlando, Fla. as an ongoing philanthropic response to the Pulse tragedy.
Logo announced that for the second consecutive year, the network will be the exclusive U.S. broadcast home of the Eurovision Song Contest when it airs the 62nd annual Grand Final live and commercial-free on May 13 at 3 p.m.
The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law has reported through its “The Impact of Stigma and Discrimination Against LGBT People in Texas” report that 770,000 LGBTQ adults and 158,500 LGBTQ youth in Texas are vulnerable to stigma and discrimination. The study documents the prevalence and impact on LGBTQ people of several forms of stigma and discrimination, including harassment and discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations; harassment and bullying in schools; and family rejection. The study also discussed the economic implications of such discrimination.
Grindr for Equality has used its app to update its LGBTQ users in Chechnya, Russia’s about dangers in their area. The company has worked with the Russian LGBT Network to distribute the emergency hotline number and email addresses set up for aid and evacuation.
In a related story on the Chechen front, MSMGR has provided resources to help those affected by violence and abuse. It has also asked the community to lend support monetarily toward the Russian LGBT Network, sign petitions, join OutRight Action and contact elected officials about concerns over the situation.
info: msmgf.org. lgbtnet.org/en. ilga-europe.org.
The non-profit Rainbow Railroad has announced an emergency response plan for LGBTQ individuals at risk in Chechnya, Russia, urgently requesting assistance from the Canadian Government. The organization actively assists LGBTQ individuals to escape danger through its global network of safe routes.
OutRight Action International called on British Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell to take a stand against the kidnapping, detention, torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya, Russia. All three companies have considerable investment and partnerships with state-owned oil and gas companies in Russia, with ventures worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Executive Director Jessica Stern said, “This is one of the worst homophobic campaigns the world has ever seen. If Russia will not listen to other governments or even the United Nations, it is time to see if we can get money to talk in a language that they will listen to. The arrests and torture of perceived gay men has to end and those involved must be held to account.”
Rev. Seth “David” Wynn, a transgender pastor in Texas, has been spotlighted in telling his story about transitioning as a church member.
World OutGames Miami 2017 will present “Pulse Points,” an artistic response to the Orlando massacre at Pulse Nightclub, on June 1 at the New World Center. This experiential memorial will fuse elements of dance, poetry, music and visual arts with 49 artistic expressions in remembrance of the 49 lives lost one year ago.
Asia Kate Dillon, a series regular on Showtime’s “Billions,” will open the MTV 2017 Movie & TV Awards. Dillon is the first gender non-binary identifying actor ever to be cast in a major television series. “I grew up with MTV. It was the pop culture voice of my generation. MTV continues to be a voice for the culture it represents. I am honored to open the show as a presenter as MTV makes strides once more by doing away with binary acting categories, celebrating television and film in a truly inclusive way,” said Dillon who recently sent an impassioned letter to the TV Academy, questioning the gender-specific classifications of the acting categories in the Primetime Emmy Awards. They will also serve as a presenter.
“Big World, Little Om,” a campaign to create a television program for LGBTQ children and other children living in non-traditional households that will enable them to see a representation of their family in a cartoon format, is working to change the landscape of children’s entertainment.
Encompass Digital Media announced that it is providing an integrated set of services for Here Media, the world’s largest provider of LGBTQ-oriented content. Through its global partnership with Kaltura, Encompass expanded its current channel playout and a distribution relationship with Here Media.
info: encompass.tv. kaltura.com, heretv.com.
The American Civil Liberties Union released a report on the civil rights and civil liberties record of the first 100 days of the Trump administration. They included the unconstitutional Muslim ban, the failed Affordable Care Act repeal, and the repeated attacks on LGBTQ rights. The organization also published a day-by-day accounting of the administration’s “100 Days of Failure.”
Researchers announced findings from the largest-ever combined sample of homeless youth in the U.S. and Canada, revealing that nearly one-fifth are victims of human trafficking, including those trafficked for sex, labor or both. LGBTQ youth were disproportionately affected. Though they accounted for just 19.2 percent of the respondents interviewed, LGBTQ youth accounted for 33.8 percent of sex trafficking victims, and 31.8 percent of those who engaged in the sex trade.
Thought leaders from around the globe will converge on Miami, Fla. for the 4th Global LGBTQI Human Rights Conference, held from May 26–29 as part of World OutGames Miami 2017. The conference will offer a world view of human rights with representation from Brazil, Cuba, Canada, Miccosukee Reservation, St. Lucia, Thailand, Tonga, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the U.S., Venezuela and others.
“The Broken Heart Toolkit” by HIV/AIDS survivor and activist Paul Thorn helps to empower the newly single to transition from “heart-hurt” to “heart-health.”
Teleflora will partner with GLSEN to honor teachers who make a difference in children’s lives nationwide for Teacher Appreciation Week held from May 8-12. Twenty percent of all Be Happy Bouquet with Roses sales will be contributed to GLSEN.
info: teleflora.com. glsen.org.
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with its partners in the National Business Inclusion Consortium, has named the second annual Best-of-the-Best list of corporations in America committed to diversity and inclusion across all communities. Listed were Accenture, Allstate Insurance Company, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, Bank of America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Capital One, Chevron, Comcast NBCUniversal, Corning Cummins Inc., CVS Health, Delhaize America, DuPont, EY, Fannie Mae, Fidelity Investments, Freddie Mac, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Health Care Service Corporation, Hilton, IBM, Intel Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Kellogg Company, KeyBank, KPMG, Marriott International, Merck, Nationwide, New York Life Insurance, Northrop Grumman, Pfizer, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, PNC Financial Services Group, Prudential, Sodexo, Southwest Airlines Co., SunTrust Bank, TD Bank, TIAA, UPS and Wells Fargo.
Diversity Honors at Hard Rock Live presented by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be held on May 6 with a gala to benefit the Harvey Milk Foundation and The Pride Center at Equality Park. During the event it will award its 2017 honorees. The global celebration serves as a kick-off to Harvey Milk Day events around the world and spotlights those who are transforming lives by living authentically and advancing inclusiveness.
Actors from gay porn studio TwistedXXX Media in the UK will create a series of sexual health videos for Greater Manchester’s LGBT Foundation. The videos, featuring some of the group’s well-known models, will tackle a range of issues affecting men who have sex with men. These will include body image, exploring fetish and safer sex advice.
Truth Wins Out slammed Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Mayor Jack Seiler as “arrogant and disingenuous” for his refusal to back out of an offensive prayer breakfast where anti-LGBTQ activist and Focus on the Family’s President Jim Daly will be a featured speaker. “The organization behind the event, the National Christian Foundation, is a primary source of funds for virulently anti-LGBT activity at home and abroad, according to Truth Wins Out’s research arm, The Center Against Religious Extremism,” Truth’s head Wayne Besen shared.
The University at Albany and Nowigence, Inc. (a university start-up company) have launched their UAlbany LGBTQ+ Activity Tracker which gathers data globally and over time maps a pattern of positive and negative events concerning the LGBTQ population across the world.
GLAAD announced that it will honor Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor and singer Billy Porter with the Vito Russo Award at the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, N.Y. at the New York Hilton Midtown on May 6. The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ community. Debra Messing will receive the Excellence in Media Award for outspoken support of LGBTQ people and against discrimination. The event will be hosted by Ross Mathews. Presenters and special guests including Whoopi Goldberg, Don Lemon, Rami Malek, Janet Mock, Trevor Noah, Zachary Quinto, Christian Slater and Zeke Smith from “Survivor.”
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has further expanded its commitment to its LGBTQ visitors and community with multiple initiatives across the city including the opening of a Gender Equality Office and sensitivity training for local businesses in advance of Vallarta Pride.
Press Pass Q reported that The National LGBTQ Task Force, in collaboration with NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, have launched a Spanish-language stylebook for journalists reporting on LGBTQ individuals entitled “El Manual de Estilo Sobre la Comunidad Lesbiana, Gay, Bisexual y Transgénero.”
info: presspassq.blogspot.com. thetaskforce.org.
TIME has named RuPaul Charles to the 2017TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Coca-Cola’s leadership effectively “slapped Americans of faith in the face” on April 26 by fighting a shareholder proposal from the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project — the nation’s leading proponent of free-market investor activism. The proposal asked the Coca-Cola to explain apparent inconsistencies in how the company chooses to address human rights issues in the U.S. and abroad.
Adidas has become a collaborative partner with World OutGames Miami 2017.
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Frank Mugisha, a gay Ugandan leader, addressed the New Ways Ministry’s Eighth National Symposium during the last weekend in April in Chicago, Ill. Mugisha is the leading African voice for LGBTQ liberation who has regularly faced death threats and intimidation for his work. In 2009, he led a massive march to stop the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would have instituted incarceration for “consensual homosexual acts and criminalized the medical treatment of homosexuals with HIV/AIDS,” New Ways’ Director Francis DeBarnardo said.
Pink Triangle Press has acquired GuySpy, an online social network for gay men.
Out Leadership’s seventh annual LGBT+ Summit in the U.S. was held on May 5 in New York, N.Y. The event included a session that explored examples of successful interventions by businesses to halt anti-LGBTQ laws. It also included a discussion on current cases pending in the U.S. that could result in non-discrimination protections, why they are good for business and how businesses can ensure these protections become law.
Ty Herndon’s 2017 Concert for Love & Acceptance, hosted by Cody Alan, announced its initial artist lineup, including Herndon, Billy Gilman, Kree Harrison, Ryan Kinder, Runaway June, Lorrie Morgan, Michael Ray, Street Corner Symphony and Thompson Square. The event, created to support at-risk youth, will be held on June 8 in Nashville, Tenn. More will be announced as the event nears. This year’s partners include media partner CMT and non-profit partner GLAAD, as well as local sponsors Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams(North Carolina), Wade Weissmann Architecture and Retief Skin Center.
On May 6 Equality California will honor California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, The Washington Post columnist and MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Capehart, local business leader Michael Dunn and transgender reality TV star and writer Jazz Jennings at the 2017 San Francisco Equality Awards for their service to the LGBT community.
Gay police officer and LGBTQ activist Xavier Jugelé, 37, was killed in an ISIS attack in Paris, France on April 20.